The US president has reportedly admitted to having told one of Washington’s top allies that America had a trade deficit with Canada when he “had no idea” if that was the case.
“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’” Trump said, mimicking Trudeau, according to audio recording obtained by The Washington Post.
“Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed. […] So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know…. I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’” Trump went on.
The US president proceeded to say that he continued insisting that the two neighbors had a trade deficit despite Trudeau’s objections to the contrary.
"He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it. ‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. We have no deficit, but that doesn’t include energy and timber. … And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible,” Trump proceeded to say.
As soon as The Washington Post published the article, exposing Trump’s bragging, Twitter users lashed out at him, being astonished by his “ignorance” and the fact that he was “proud” of being “uninformed”:
Incredible. Only Trump could cause a headline like this. He goes into a meeting with a key ally and trading partner 100% ignorant, flat out lies to that ally, and then, instead of keeping quiet, actually publicly brags about being an ignorant liar.— Eugene V. Belitsky (@Jhenya_Belitsky) 15 марта 2018 г.
Now we have Trump bragging that he can be uninformed and make up stuff about one of our closest allies and get away with it. Alternative facts gone international. He is seizing power and swerving towards dictatorship at an alarming pace now. https://t.co/9FbEhUe1Ow— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) 15 марта 2018 г.
Trump just boasted that he lies to Justin Trudeau.— Duty To Warn (@duty2warn) 15 марта 2018 г.
When a man lies loudly, proudly, incessantly with a smile…well…
there's a word for that. pic.twitter.com/tkzcbTnwwj
Please explain how you make up *facts*. More like making up lies, but Trump telling lies is about as newsy as water is wet.— marguerite 🚀💃🏽📚🐉 (@chicspace) 15 марта 2018 г.
“Making up facts” is a nicer way of saying OUTRIGHT LYING.— Cortney Miller (@cortneym22) 15 марта 2018 г.
Another Twitterian analyzed the situation, saying that Trump told Trudeau “he was wrong on the deficit just because, without knowing the truth”:
In summary: Trump *was* making up facts in his meeting with Trudeau, but I’m extremely doubtful that the rest of this story is non-fictional. It’s quite possibly even more bizarre: he’s adding a new lie about how he was proven right about his old lie.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) 15 марта 2018 г.
So final summary: 1) The president is bragging that he made stuff up with a foreign leader; 2) He is claiming his made-up thing was then magically proven correct; 3) His explanation for why he was actually correct is fictional; 4) He’s still currently incorrect.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) 15 марта 2018 г.
He’s not right. $17 billion was last year’s deficit in trade in goods: with services trade included, the net trade balance is a surplus, as his own economic advisers officially note. The repeat claim about Trudeau excluding energy and timber is fiction. https://t.co/VPnJHtuc4m— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) 15 марта 2018 г.
Meanwhile, other users suggested that Trudeau possibly knew Trump was simply making stuff up and did not take it seriously:
Don't worry — Trudeau is well aware of Trump being a compulsive liar and takes everything with a grain of salt. That's why Canada has a dedicated USA relations crisis team on standby.— Kelly (@KellyLNL) 15 марта 2018 г.
The really funny thing is that Trump thinks Trudeau didn’t know he was lying….— CWP (@saintcats) 15 марта 2018 г.
According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, in 2016 the US had a service trade surplus of an estimated $25 billion with Canada.